The Cook Trio

Why Is Stairway to Heaven Banned in Guitar Stores?

The ban of the stairway to Heaven in guitar stores is widely considered to be the most influential band ever. Perhaps not quite as revolutionary as the banning of The Beatles in the ’50s or the banning of hip hop in the ’80s, but still a ban that has had a lasting effect on society. Do you know why Stairway to Heaven is banned in guitar stores?

Why Is Stairway to Heaven Banned in Guitar Stores?

About the Song: Stairway to Heaven

Before we get to know why Stairway to Heaven is banned in guitar stores, let’s get to know more about the song and the band behind it.

Stairway to Heaven is the most familiar song of Led Zeppelin, an American rock band whose music is characterized by heavy rhythms, powerful guitar riffs, and boisterous vocals. This song was released on the album Led Zeppelin IV. The song is notable for being one of only two Led Zeppelin songs that use lyrics to reference smoking. Stairway to Heaven has been banned from most radio stations and many stores that sell new and used guitars due to the drug references. Led Zeppelin has been associated with drug use and has been banned in a number of countries, mainly in the UK.

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Led Zeppelin is still among the world’s most popular bands today. They have been ranked number one in the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” and are the all-time top-selling artists in the United Kingdom, with over 200 million records sold worldwide. Their music has influenced many artists, including heavy metal, blues, and hard rock. As a result of their popularity, Led Zeppelin has been accused of plagiarism many times.

Stairway to Heaven is the most famous song of Led Zeppelin and is still very popular today. Its themes and lyrics have been banned from many places, such as being played in guitar stores.

About the Song: Stairway to Heaven

The Forbidden Riff

The definitive intro to the classic rock tune Stairway to Heaven has been played at Guitar Center for years. Still, it’s a riff that everyone knows, especially those in the guitar shop, to never ever be played on guitars. The song’s forbidden riff is a riff that’s played at the beginning of “Stairway to Heaven” and is known as the “Forbidden Riff.” It’s a riff that’s different from the version of the song, but employees and customers are not allowed to play it.

Stairway to Heaven: Why is it banned?

It’s hard to believe that someone would ban a popular song like Stairway to Heaven from being played in a guitar store. But that is exactly what has happened. It’s a slippery slope when it comes to song censorship. Why? Because some songs are not meant to be played in public. Some songs are not meant to be heard by others. And some songs are not meant to inspire musicians. But this song is different.

“Stairway To Heaven” is a song by the band Led Zeppelin that most of us know by its opening riff. The band penned the song in 1971, and it has become a concert favorite and an anthem for musicians, sports teams, and even politicians across the world. The song is a top-10 rock hit and is the group’s most successful single ever, with more than 47 million copies sold worldwide.

It’s because of the chord progression

What is this ridiculous notion about banning this song? The song “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin is banned. “Stairway to Heaven” is banned. It’s a song that has been played in guitar stores for 40 years. Why? Because it’s like the Holy Bible for rock and roll guitar players. Why is it banned? Because of the chord progression.

Whenever anyone plays the tune “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin, they have to play it in the key of Ab major. But if you look at the sheet music for the song, you’ll see that it’s written in the key of G – D. And of course, the reason the song is written in the key of G is that that’s the key of the song itself. There is nothing wrong with the song, but what happens is that people who want to play their guitars in the key of G-D will ruin the integrity of the song.


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It is too popular

It is too popular

The reality of banning this song lies in the fact that the song is simply overplayed too much. This happens with all great musical tunes. In fact, it’s precisely this repetitive action that gives them their beauty and their charm. There are numerous other songs that have been played to death over the years, but they all have different stories. Some are banned because they are in some way offensive, while others are banned because they are simply, well, too popular. Now, you fully understand why Stairway to Heaven is banned in guitar stores.


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What Other Overplayed Songs at Guitar Stores?

Rock guitar is among the most exciting instruments to play. Not only can you play any song you want, but you can also make up your own chord progressions and play them as well. So, when you’re sitting at Guitar Center, looking at all the guitars and how they’re different, you wonder what other songs there are that are overplayed?

Stairway to Heaven is not just the only overplayed song. There are other songs that have been, let’s say, too scratched because they had been played over and over again. Here are some songs that guitar store employees are well-versed to the following songs:

  • Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
  • Sweet Child ‘O Mine by Guns N’Roses
  • Iron Man by Black Sabbath
  • Wonderwall by Oasis
  • Blackbird by The Beatles
  • Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple
  • Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne
  • Rock You Like a Hurricane by The Scorpions

If you’re playing the guitar in a music store, you’re probably playing something overplayed. Whether it’s something from a classic rock band that’s been covered by Guitar Hero or a modern act on the radio today, the chances are good that you’ll be hearing the same song played over and over again. And if you’re a beginner, you’re going to be hearing it at every lesson. This is a problem because it can put you off from playing any instrument. So, avoid playing those overplayed songs and try something unique when you go to a guitar store.

Play Something First Before Buying

Guitar stores are filled with amazing guitars that, in many cases, cost more than a new car. Despite their cost, these instruments are not created equal: some are easier and more enjoyable to play, while others have pre-wired and pre-strung features that make them hard to play.

Do you know how you often have to play a song for a guitar before you can buy it at a guitar store? It’s not so you know whether it’s a good guitar or not, but to make sure that you can actually play it for the store. The store will play the song for you before selling it to you to ensure that you can actually play the guitar and not make a fool out of yourself.

While you may have a guitar tab that you’re pretty sure will work, it’s always better to play a song to a guitar before purchasing it, just to make sure you’re getting the full experience. In fact, there’s a whole industry of guitar stores that exists solely to help you do just that. The same thing happens with pianos and organs when you play them at a piano store to make sure that you can actually play the instrument


Other Important Things To Consider…

While playing music is fun and creative, there are several things to remember when playing a song to a guitar. A guitarist should always remember to remember the chord changes, always keep an eye on the notes and make sure the chord change is correct.

You may have noticed that when you press a guitar string, it makes a different type of sound depending on where you press it. This oscillation of the string against the fretboard causes the guitar’s various notes. When you play a note on a guitar, this is a different sound depending on where you press the string. If you press the string on the 3rd fret of the 5th string, you will hear the note E. If you press the string on the 4th fret of the 5th string, you will hear the note G.

While the guitar may be the most recognized instrument in the world, we didn’t start playing for the rest of the world until the early 1900s. It’s not surprising that most guitarists have very little idea of how their instrument works. But, if you know how to tune a guitar, how to select proper strings, how to keep the action low, and how to keep the frets in good shape, you’ll be able to keep learning while improving your guitar skills.


Simon Mattav

I am the owner of The Cook Trio, a three-piece band that has been performing in the Chicago area for over 10 years. I have a passion for music – everything from guitar to songs. I graduated from the music University of Chicago! My passion is writing songs about my life experiences, feelings and emotions through different genres. My inspirations are some of today’s popular songwriters such as Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez among others.

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